The True Nut Co., LLC
Tell us about your business.Founder, Steve Ryder had a simple idea: create a snack that showcased local ingredients-with community support at its core. Begun as a fundraiser for Stonewall Farm - A nonprofit working farm and educational center in Keene New Hampshire our maple almonds were a hit. With a chorus of “you should sell these” and the encouragement of friends and neighbors the True Nut Co. was born. In keeping with our core principles and to have a lasting philanthropic impact - we partnered with Monadnock Developmental Services, and their First Course program. First Course was created to assist people with physical and emotional challenges to take on jobs in the food industry. First Course handled production of our Maple-Roasted Almonds. The First Course program was, unfortunately, lost to funding issues but we purchased the facilities, expanded and created Neighbor Made, a production facility for ourselves and an incubator for new and growing specialty food manufacturers.
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.As our business grew, we acquired a former culinary training facility in the heart of Keene’s downtown and established Neighbor Made – a commercial production space for new and growing specialty food manufacturers. One of the biggest obstacles to starting a food business is the high cost of manufacturing space. We provide a fully equipped, commercially licensed, shared-use kitchen on an as needed basis, with lowered risk and minimized start-up costs. We’ve established ourselves as a hub of entrepreneurship and local food in our region and beyond – leaders in farm-to-pantry innovation and help bring small batch and artisanal foods to a larger audience. We measure our success both by the accomplishments of others as well as our own. A collaborative space. A diverse group, from every walk of life come together to bring locally made specialty foods to market. 120 American made products call Neighbor Made home. The best made stuff is Neighbor Made.
What inspires you?Entrepreneurship and the seemingly, bottomless, reservoir of initiative and enthusiasm brought to bear. Starting a business is often a lonely place - in our environment it's heartening to work with a group of like minded people and see that the American entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. On a near daily basis we are joined by someone new - ready to take charge of their own destiny.
What makes your business stand out?A commitment to providing quality products while sharing our skills, lessons learned and success with others. Always looking toward growth in the wider world while maintaining our sense of place and our respect for or our staff, community and business associates.
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?The first thing that came to mind was 1999's Tim Allen cinematic masterpiece "Galaxy Quest" - Never Give Up-Never Surrender. The very spirit that drives an entrepreneur can be our worst enemy. Always measure the risk versus rewards and don't lose track of a balanced life, the value of trusted advise from those who have come before you and seek out frequent "reality checks" from a disinterested party. Unexamined, stubborn tenacity and myopia will do more harm than good. I'll close with the words of Kenny Rogers - "You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em".
What does American Made mean to you?For us it's more than just patriotism. It's about opportunity and prosperity. It's a spirit that we take for granted and often feel has slipped away. If we look around, and it can sometimes take a hard look, it's there and it's alive and well. In small workshops and large factories - Americans are still hard at work and we're proud to count ourselves among them.
Mark Your Calendar
WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winner and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
AMERICAN MADE MEETUPNov. 7, 2014
Join Martha at the American Made Summit kickoff cocktail party.Buy Tickets Now
AMERICAN MADE SUMMITNov. 8, 2014
Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City.Buy Tickets Now
RENEGADE CRAFT FAIRNov. 15 - 16, 2014
Shop for holiday gifts at the Martha Stewart American Made Pavilion.Learn More